Holy smokes, La Serenissima is pricey.
Everywhere ELSE we went in Italy, people would say, "Oh, Venice -- so
beautiful-- but so EXPENSIVE!" And this with the Euro trouncing the
pennies right off our dollars. Still, we were able to find relatively
inexpensive accommodations, which helped us save our euros for the biggest
San Samuele- (Salizzada San Samuele 3358
Tel. +39 041 5228045
Fax. +39 041 2702891) Ideally located in the
San Marco district, just up a main salizzada from the vaporetto, this
charming albergo had very simply furnished, but spacious rooms for a
bargain 107 Euros (double with a private bath), and a 10% discount if you
paid in cash. (They accept Visa, MC, and Amex also).
Here are a few other places we researched,
but which I've never stayed in, and thus have no firsthand knowledge of. Know of the perfect room in Venice? Feel
free to email me
with your favorites!
The food is horribly expensive in Venice.
Horribly. Especially if you'd like to sit down in a halfway decent
place for anything more than pizza or a snack, we never planned on
spending less than 100 Euros for two people. Seriously. That
said, you can find excellent food in Venice, you can also find good
cheap snacks. Like finding anything else in Venice though, it takes
some hunting though!
Fiore, San Marco 3461 on Calle delle Botteghe. An excellent choice for
seafod in a town filled with great seafood. In season, try the fried
molecche (soft shell crabs) or the bizarrely alien looking canoce (white
Read my review.
Gondolieri, Fondamenta dell'Ospedaletto,
Dorsoduro 366. A stone's throw from the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, this
lovely restaurant is, again, pricey, but puts a different twist on the
typical Venetian seafood style. Food here is exquisitely prepared--
you'll pay for it, but you'll be happy you did.
Read my review.
Dorsoduro 1629. A very modern cuisine in a very old city, Avogaria served
up some of the most refined food we had in Venice -- not your typical
Venetian, but rather a Pugliese style.
Read my review.
San Marco 2007 (between La Fenice Opera House and via XXII
Marzo). An offshoot (and less pricey wine bar version) of the more famous
Antico Martini, which is just across the bridge, Vino, Vino isn't super
fancy, but serves hefty sized plates of pasta for lunch which you can wash
down with a good house red.
Read my review.
Ae Oche,Calle del Tintor 1552/a in the Santa
Croce. Okay, it's definitely not going to win any
awards, but if you're desperate for a cheap meal of large proportions,
this honky-tonk little pizzeria is a perfectly acceptable choice. Expect
slightly soggy centers, but tasty food.
Pizzeria Il Refolo,
Campo San Giacomo dell’Orio 1459.
Slightly better pizza than Ae Oche, brought to you by the same folks who
own Da Fiore.
Don't forget about these little addictive snack crostini options when
looking for your cheapest meal. For a couple of euros, you can get a
spritz or a crisp Veneto white wine and have lunch for... under 10 Euros!
Bancogiro, at Campo San Giacometto 122, by the Rialto markets comes highly
recommended although we found space at the cicchetti bar next door which
was also quite good.
ItalianMade- Italian Food & Wine: A good reference site for names and
styles of food from all around Italy.
Okay getting the biggies out of the way
Doges Palace, Piazza San Marco and the Basilica.
What would be the point of going to Venice if you didn't
stand in the pigeon filled Piazza San Marco taking the same damn picture
that zillions of other tourists take each year?
Dorsoduro 1050- Perhaps the greatest collection of Venetian art you'll
ever find, plus on those cold damp Venetian winter days, you can back up
against the radiators in their rooms and thaw out your fingers while
enjoying a bevy of Bellinis. Take vaporetto #1 or #82 to the Accademia
Museum. A brief walk from the Accademia is the quirky collection
of twentieth century art gathered by American Heiress Peggy Guggenheim.
Admire the Brancusis and then sit on the porch facing the Grand Canal
and imagine what it would be like to actually live in a palazzo. Take
vaporetto #1 or #82 to the Accademia stop and follow the signs .
blowing demos on the island of Murano. Cheesy, Yes. Touristy. Check.
Absolutely fun? Oh yeah. It's well worth the time to ride the
vaporetto (#41, 42, 5) or take one of the many glass company-sponsored
excursion boats for free to the island) out to Murano. One of my
favorites is at the
furnace where you can see them make a
glass horse in front of your eyes and then browse around in the shop.
Venice can hold no more secrets, no
matter what anyone tells you, but here are a few place to visit that are
a bit more off the beaten path.
in St. Mark's Basilica. When you enter the great Basilica of San
Marco, don't just follow all the tourist throngs, but look to your right
just after you've gone through the portico for a narrow steep set of
steps that take you up to the loggia. For just a few euros, you
can examine the interior mosaics up close and personal, or walk out onto
the balcony under the replicas of the grand horses (the originals are
upstairs too) and get one of the best views across the piazza.
of San Giorgio Maggiore. Skip the campanile in St. Mark's Square
--it's always overcrowded. Instead take vaporetto #82 from Piazza San
Marco over to the small island of San Giorgio Maggiore and for a few
euros, ascend their bell tower to see all of Venezia laid out before
of the Frari. About as much of a neighborhood "working church" as
you'll find in Venice, the Frari is one the the city's warmest, most
welcoming edifices. Don't miss Canova's "Aliens abducted me" tomb. Walk
up the main salizzada from the San Toma vaporetto stop.
Scuola Grande di San
Rocco. Across the street from the Church of the Frari is this
intensely decorated not-to be missed fiesta of Tintorettos-- more per
square inch than you've ever seen in your life. Walk up the main
salizzada from the San Toma vaporetto stop.
Cemetery of San Michele. Final resting place for many famous names,
such as the ballet and opera impresario Serge Diaghilev and composer
Igor Stravinsky and his wife Vera, the Cimiterio is a quiet enclave when
you desire to get away from the vast tourist hordes. Take vaporetto #41
or 42 from San Zaccaria.